As I write this, the final ever edition of News International’s Sunday flagship UK newspaper is being delivered to newsagents across the country. It is a sensational ending for the 168-year-old title, embroiled in the unbelieveable level of controversy since the phone-hacking scandal deepened by several notches over the past seven days. However corrupted the newsroom was over the past decade is a matter for the judge-led inquiry now, but it’s fair to say there’ve been some outrageously appalling examples of using phone-hacking as some kind of second nature to acquire a story.

What has brought me to comment on the scandal, as a local newspaper reporter myself (hullo, please don’t hurt/abuse/kill me!) was reading this shocking account from a PR consultant in relation to a family tragedy, and the disturbing levels the Fleet Street press went to so they could obtain all kinds of tidbits of information.

Most of the things claimed within this article go far beyond many clauses in the Press Complaints Commission’s guidelines (specifically section 5, part i, and this is where, theoretically, that organisation needs to have more of a backbone. Then again, in cases such as this one, if the cases of gross intrusion on privacy aren’t reported to the PCC in the first place, what do you do? To its credit, the PCC recently produced a leaflet offering victims advice on dealing with the media on such examples, but realistically, has this document been widely circulated enough?

So, in the wake of the News of the World’s closure, and the continuing fallout over the way the media has acted overall, should the PCC be given an overhaul? Well, the guidelines in place are actually perfectly fine, but the organisation does need to have more power and be more effective. For example, if a newspaper does fall foul on accuracy and is forced to print a correction, make sure they don’t just tuck it away on page 14 in a small black box where no-one will read/care about it. Make it an organisation the red-top tabloids should respect, while at the same time not being so draconian to clamp down on investigative journalism as a whole.

Similarly, the organisation can’t be blown to bits and replaced by a system involving judges or MPs, as that’ll squeeze the freedom of expression of reporters to do their job adequately and expose genuine criminal wrongdoing (see the MPs’ expenses scandal for what journalists can do as a force for good). As I take a look around the web right now, the second half of the Sunday Mirror’s editorial piece backs this up.

That said, certainly for the next few weeks at least, the closure of the best-selling newspaper in the UK is bound to be a big wake-up call for some organisations, and many will tread more carefully in future.

Finally, congratulations to the Guardian for covering all of this scandal in huge detail. I guess their ambition to be a digital-led title has got off to a good start!

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: While I may be a local newspaper journalist, the views I express in this column do not necessarily represent those of my employers or my colleagues. Just so you know.